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SPORTS WEEKEND

Southland Focus

March 28, 1997|TIM KAWAKAMI, 16 handicap.

A weekly look at golf courses open to the public in Southern California.

Lakewood Country Club

Address: 3101 East Carson St. Lakewood

Green fees: $19-$23.

Tee times: Seven days in advance.

Phone: (310) 429-9711.

The facility: From the open, flat fairways to monster par threes and driver/three-wood par fours to engine blasts from the adjacent McDonnell Douglas plant, this is a course made for aggressive golf and more than occasional double bogeys. The par-three No. 5 plays 225 yards from the blue tees, followed by a 443-yard dogleg par four to a hill green guarded by bunkers and water all along the right side. When the tees are moved directly behind the water on the par-three No. 12, you have a 190-yard carry to reach the green. For added torture, adventurous players can tee it up from the black tees, a 7,045-yard tour.

The good: The ocean breeze and marine layer guard against overheating, and the well-maintained putting and chipping greens give you little excuse for first-hole yips. Raised greens, grabby rough and bunkers prevent anything but high-ball golf if you're going to score. Two par fives are potentially reachable in two.

The bad: Planes small and large wander low over the course on their way into and out of Long Beach Airport. The flat terrain leads to very little drama off the tee. As an American Golf Corp. course, fivesomes are allowed, which can back up play. The driving range (mats are used) can give you claustrophobia.

*

Overall course rating: two and a half balls

* One ball: Like an X on the scorecard.

** Two balls: Worth an occasional round.

*** Three balls: Like shooting four strokes under your handicap.

**** Four balls: Where the Publinx Golf Gods play.

*--*

Hole Blue Tees White Tees M/W Par Red Tees 1 415 407 4/4 365 2 415 398 4/4 374 3 162 140 3/3 116 4 349 339 4/4 316 5 225 217 3/3 189 6 443 434 4/5 418 7 506 489 5/5 464 8 364 346 4/4 313 9 497 486 5/5 436 Out 3376 3256 36/37 2991 10 408 389 4/4 362 11 376 363 4/4 343 12 216 200 3/3 155 13 421 402 4/4 374 14 487 473 5/5 453 15 343 324 4/4 308 16 373 352 4/4 339 17 197 178 3/3 148 18 542 508 5/5 447 In 3363 3189 36/36 2929 Total 6739 6445 72/73 5920

*--*

Rating/Slope: Black--72.9/113, Blue--71.5/110, White--70.2/108, Red--74.1/121

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